Puroresu Show Reviews
Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
All Japan Summer Action Series Final: Heavy Fighting in Yoyogi 7/26/2005
Kikutaro, Nobukazu Hirai & Nobutaka Araya VS Tomoaki Honma, Akira Raijin & Ryuji Hijikata
Kikutaro seems to be advertising video game magazine, Famitsu, since he had the logo on his back. He was also accompanied by several cosplayers dressed as maids from some anime. Small bit of comedy at the beginning from Kikutaro which even cracked Hijikata up a bit. Akira Raijin is coming along nicely in his development. They seem to be building him up as a guy with a hard head. This was really too short for anything to come out of it, other than Honma picking up a rare pinfall.Match Rating: ½*
Buchanan VS Arashi
Another short match with mostly Buchanan locking on the iron claw on Arashi for most of the match and trying to get the iron claw bomb on him. He had the claw on so tight that Arashi even bled! Unfortunately for Buchanan it wasn’t his night as Arashi made a comeback and finished him in short order. I think Arashi only used like 3 moves in total to win this one!Match Rating: ½*
Taiji Ishimori VS Kaz Hayashi
This was the true stand out match of the show! It started off a bit slow with the standard mat work, but ended up as an incredible full speed one-upsmanship contest! It was interesting seeing Kaz play the role of the grumpy senior to young Ishimori, who holds a pinfall victory over him in a tag match. I’ve only seen Ishimori about 2-3 times prior to this, and those were nothing to shout home about, but this was a really outstanding showing by the little guy. A lot of great chained move sequences and near falls to fool you into thinking the match was about to end. This is the best singles Jr. match I’ve seen since KENTA/Kanemaru from DESTINY, and I’d rank it right up there on the same level!Match Rating: ****1/2
Kazushi Miyamoto VS Toshiaki Kawada
Not really a complete squash as everyone says. Kawada was being his usual hard-ass self, but Miyamoto got some good offense in, including a sweet Shining Wizard out on the floor and another in the ring. Miyamoto even got some stiff elbow strikes in, but it’s not good enough as Kawada beats the snot out of him with some stiff strikes suplexes to take the match. Miyamoto asked for Dangerous K, and he got him.Match Rating: ½*All Asian Tag Titles: Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima VS “brother” YASSHI & Shuji Kondo
I loved this match! Even though Sasaki was involved, they still played up his team as the underdogs. Huge pop for head referee Kyohei Wada at the beginning when he came out and had TARU ejected from ringside for attacking Akira Hokuto and than helping Kondo & YASSHI beat down Sasaki & Nakajima.
The crowd was wild for this one, which really helped me get into the match. Nakajima has shown a lot of improvement and the fans are just so behind the young kid. One fun spot had both YASSHI & Kondo exchanging chops with Sasaki, and taking out Nakajima when he tried to get involved so they could continue their chop exchange. Kondo looked very protected in this match as YASSHI bumped his ass off for the team, but it was cool watching Kondo try for his spear only to get picked off the ground by Sasaki and driven into the corner himself! Nakajima did blow a spot near the end, but they actually played up to it as him being exhausted from the beating he took. Not the best worked match ever, but I’d definitely rank it as one of my favorites of the year.Match Rating: ***1/2Voodoo Murders VS RO&D: TARU, Giant Bernard, Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli VS Masahiro Chono, TAKA Michinoku, Jamal & Taiyo Kea
Now, I’m not big fan of Chono’s work, but he was just awesome here! Gotta give TARU some credit as well for not being intimidated and going toe-to-toe with New Japan’s Black Charisma. This was another fun tag match with everyone getting their spots in. I had no idea Jamal added middle kicks to his arsenal, and he matches up nicely against Bernard as two big unstoppable gaijin monsters! It was good to see Chono even put Bernard over as a threatening gaijin. For RO&D, it really paid to have friends in high places like Chono, and personally, he looks a lot better surrounded by RO@D than he does with Black New Japan for some reason.Match Rating: ***1/2
All Japan Triple Crown: Satoshi Kojima VS Keiji Mutoh
I heard this was a solid match and Mutoh had brought his working boots, and while the match was indeed good, it just seemed to lack something that Kojima/Kawada had. A lot of back and forth action, as well as a good number of Shining Wizards thrown throughout. The crowd was actually backing Mutoh by the end of it, and the ending could have been done a lot better as we once again got to see Kojima in “hit the lariat until the damn thing works” mode. I don’t think it helped that Mutoh didn’t sell the lariat that pinned him either as he got up almost immediately after the pinfall with a “ok, it’s over” look on his face. I liked how they pushed this as the company ace VS the company champion, but eventhough he won, the champion didn’t quite look like an ace. Hopefully the Triple Crown defense against Jamal will be a lot better.Match Rating: ***Overall:
Dare I say this could be the best overall show of the new All Japan I’ve ever seen? The two openers weren’t much, but everything after that was loads of fun! Big fat recommendation from me to watch this one!
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Osaka Pro “Osaka Holiday Paradise” 4/29/2005
Warning! Contains SPOILERS!Atsushi Kotoge Debut: Atsushi Kotoge VS Kabuto Daio Beetle
At first I was expecting this to be one of those debuts where the rookie gets totally squashed by the veteran, but then they surprised me by actually letting Kotoge get in some good rookie offense, and some near falls to boot! Looking at Kotoge’s physique reminds me sort of Kentaro Shiga of NOAH, very skinny and small. Beetle dominated most of the match as expected, but when everyone thought Kotoge would tap out to the dreaded half-crab of doom all rookies lose to early in their careers, the youngster would actually make it to the ropes to break the hold! Kotoge would fire back with a pair of dropkicks and a body slam, and score a near fall with a victory roll! Beetle ended up having to put the rookie away with his Drive of Beetle finisher (running Michinoku Driver), but gave props to the kid for putting up a good fight. Another surprise was the strong support from the fans Kotoge received which even surprised the announcers. This kid definitely has something going for him.Match Rating: *
Masamune & Hideyoshi VS La Uchida & Takaku Fuke
I’m not sure where they are from, but this was also Masamune and Hideyoshi’s OPro debut. I could best describe Masamune as a pirate since he’s got an eye-patch on his mask, and Hideyoshi wears a samurai like mask and is a power fighter.
Masamune called out Pancrase Mission star Takaku Fuke to start off the match, but since he declined, we were left with Uchida taking a beating from the rudo duo for most of the match. Fuke would get the hot tag, but it would be short lived since they would get the advantage on Uchida again leading to the finish. Masamune is definitely the leader of the two since Hideyoshi is slow moving and sometimes seems unsure of what to do, but Hideyoshi’s finisher is one of the sickest finishers I’ve seen in a while, where he picks up his opponent in a gorilla press, than drives them down face first into the mat with a reverse powerbomb! There is a slim margin of error for this move, and I would hate to see it if anything ever went wrong with the delivery.Match Rating: *1/4
Black Buffalo & Tsubasa VS Azteca & KAZE
INFINITY re-unite! Joined in progress, it was quite good for what was shown. KAGEKI star KAZE was interesting and a singles match between him and Tsubasa would show a lot of promise. Azteca sorta reminds me of Liger, since they have the same build and all. Azteca didn’t do much for what was shown, so I’m guessing they were trying to get KAZE over which he did quite well for when he was delivering offense. Not sure why, but something about Black Buffalo nowadays seems boring a bit. I don’t think he did much else in the match other than a ton of lariats, which also looked kind of sloppy, which is probably the best reason to keep him teamed with someone like Tsubasa.Match Rating: **
Super Delfin & Kuishinbo Kamen VS Tigers Mask & 2nd Generation Ebessan
Another debut on the show! This time for the 2nd Generation Ebessan, who is obviously someone else under the mask. This new Ebessan is not the comedic loud mouth the original was, and is more of a high-flyer. There were some fun bits where the three guys in the ring had to teach Ebessan his comedy spots, and luckily Kuishinbo and Delfin could still keep some of the comedy goodness in the match.
It was ok and all, but by the end of it I was thinking they just need to drop the Ebessan gimmick altogether if he’s not going to be the comedy god he’s supposed to be. It’s no wonder they would later bring in characters like Ice Penguin to tow the comedy bits of the show. At least the new referee was willing to play along with the gags as well.Match Rating: **
Entertainment Rating: Osaka Pro Title: Super Dolphin VS Billy Ken Kid
Joined in progress, and looked to be a great match! Dolphin may have been the champion, but BKK was the one that looked like a star here. I think BKK also became the first person to kick out of the Dolphin Magic (Shiranui off the ropes instead of the corner). I also liked that the match was not too one sided like most OPro title matches are leading up to the finish where they both threw everything they had at each other including all their finishers before Dolphin manage to hit a second Dolphin Magic to retain his title.Match Rating: ***
The big story of the show was what happened after the main event as Touru Owashi made his debut and single handedly destroyed both of Osaka Pro’s aces with chokeslams! He was wearing a mask, but you could easily see the shock on Dolphin’s face when Owashi entered the ring! INFINITY even stepped up to Owashi, but were held back by the ring seconds. Lucky too since I think Owashi could have destroyed them as well. Owashi bad mouthed OPro, and Buffalo retaliated with some choice words of his own to end the show.Overall:
I haven’t seen Osaka Pro for a while, but it’s obvious a lot of changes have been made! Some good and some bad, but it will be interesting to see what else they come up with in this new era of Osaka Pro Wrestling. My recommendation: Check out this show!
Labels: Osaka Pro
Monday, September 12, 2005
AJW Big Egg Wrestling Universe Pt.4
This is it! The final chapter in the Big Egg Wrestling Universe show!Super Delfin, Gran Naniwa & Jinsei Shinzaki VS the Great Sasuke, Sato & Shiryu
Fun little offering from Michinoku Pro here. The match was a mix of quick paced action with some fun comedy spots thrown in. Even despite keeping a straight face, Shinzaki got in on the comedy antics! They did some fun comedy spots that I don't think are even being done anymore. Heck, you couldn't tell that the guy under the white dragon mask would go on to be one of the junior heavyweight ace of All Japan today, and that Delfin would go on to run one of the most fun indy promotions in Japan. Fun stuff and a great way to break the tension between tournament matches.Match Rating: **
Entertainment Rating: V*TOP Tournament Semi Finals: Combat Toyota VS Akira Hokuto
This was surprisingly short as Hokuto technically squashed Toyota here after Toyota had a hard fought match against Hotta earlier. Toyota had control early on before Hokuto fired back and took it to the outside. Toyota regained the advantage for a bit and brought in a table. Toyota would miss a senton bomb on the table and Hokuto quickly put her away with the Northern Lights Bomb. The match only went about six minutes and surprised everyone that it ended so quickly. I was hoping it would take at least another NLB to put Toyota away, but the match as still ok for what they did.Match Rating: **
V*TOP Tournament Semi Finals: Dynamite Kansai VS Aja Kong
Good Lord this match had some of the STIFFEST shots I have EVER seen! And I’m not talking about simple kicks and slaps, but I mean Kansai was literally trying to take Aja’s head off with some ruthless kicks to the FACE! Aja would of course answer back with her hard hitting backfists, and the crowd was going nuts at the back and forth action here and so was I! I thought it was also pretty amazing Kansai was able to get Aja’s huge frame up for her trademark Splash Mountain Bomb! This boiled down to one of those matches where both wrestlers were like “What the f*** do I got to do to keep her down?!?” Another great match where both competitors looked like the true aces of the companies they were representing.Match Rating: ****1/4
WWF Women’s Championship: Bull Nakano VS Alundra Blaze
Wow, for a world title match, this one sure lacked that big match feel to it. It was just rather lagging and sluggish and Blaze even blew a spot. They didn’t give the match the big spot, near fall ending that the matches in the tournament had to make the match feel important and that both girls were giving it their all. Best way to describe it would be something you’d probably see on WWE TV.Match Rating: *1/2
V*TOP Tournament Finals: Aja Kong VS Akira Hokuto
Aja dominated early on, but then there was a freak incident where Hokuto hit her trademark tope off the top rope to the outside on Aja that seemed to bust up Aja’s knee. It really makes you wonder if the injury was a work or a shoot as Aja was un-characteristically screaming her head off at the pain and on the verge of crying! So from here we had Aja as the unlikely underdog against Hokuto who mercilessly attacked the bad knee on Aja. But even with the bad leg, Aja was able to fend for herself and still deliver her always devastating spinning backfist to show the match could still have gone either. And by the end of it, they kept you wondering whether or not the injury was legit or not. Great work from both ladies here.Match Rating: ****
Finally getting through all four volumes of this shindig! The first two volumes may have been a little slow, but once we get to the main course of the show, the V*TOP Tournament, we get treated to some of the best joshi matches your ever likely to see! This was truly from the golden age of joshi and I highly recommend checking this out!
Saturday, September 10, 2005
AJW Big Egg Wrestling Universe Pt.3
A bit overdue getting to watching the rest of this, so here's part 3, and expect part 4 soon.Blizzard Miyuki debut: Blizzard Miyuki VS Mariko Yoshida
This was really poor for a debut. Aside from the nice dramatic intro she had, Blizzard just did NOTHING of importance. She sorta reminds me of Heat from NJPW, but this was way before that so I’m guessing this might be where they stole the costume idea from.
Anyways, most of the match was Blizzard using submission holds to tie Yoshida down and I found the whole match to be dull and anti-climatic. And now that I think about it, over a decade later, Yoshida is still active in the business, whereas Miyuki isn’t even around anymore unless she’s working under her real name.Match Rating: *
V*TOP Tournament – Round 1: Yumiko Hotta VS Combat Toyota
After watching this I can understand the ego trip Hotta is on in AtoZ now booking herself as an unstoppable monster even worse than Triple H. It looked like she really didn’t want to put Toyota over as she sold horribly and even blew a few spots and timing.
Toyota was the exact opposite, selling well for Hotta’s strikes as well as actually showing fatigue as the match went on whereas Hotta just didn’t seem to feel any long term damage from all the powerbombs and such Toyota was delivering. Heck, even the ending of the match had to make it look like Toyota got lucky as she was exhausted and Hotta was on her feet throwing a tantrum at the referee.Match Rating: **
V*TOP Tournament – Round 1: Eagle Sawai VS Akira Hokuto
Now this was a great match! Sawai is 260lbs, but she moves real quick for a big woman! She dominated early on with her size and power putting up a real uphill battle for Hokuto, who re-aggravated her knee injury during the match but still forged on and actually managed to get Sawai’s huge frame up for one of the sickest looking Northern Lights Bombs EVER! A great match from front to back!Match Rating: ****
V*TOP Tournament – Round 1: Manami Toyota VS Aja Kong
THIS is what I’m talking about! Non stop action from the opening bell and I was rather shocked at the amount of work they got in when the ring announcer announced they had just reached the five minute mark of the match! Toyota played the underdog to Aja’s power game, but unlike Yumiko Hotta earlier, Aja knew how to sell her opponent’s offense well and make the match believable. I was stuck on the edge of my seat watching this waiting to see what they would pull out next cause there were a TON of near falls and sick bumps taken from both girls in this one. Heck, Toyota even went hardcore and splashed Aja through a table! A true classic and the best match of all the matches I’ve seen on the show so far!
And damn, in addition to being really “flexible”, Toyota sure has a set of lungs on her as she screamed at the top of her voice throughout the match whether on defense or offense!Match Rating: *****!!!
V*TOP Tournament – Round 1: Dynamite Kansai VS Kyoko Inoue
I thought this was boring and disappointing mostly due to Inoue doing rest holds. Thankfully Kansai brought the stiffnest to the match as well some power as she actually managed to get Inoue up in the splash mountain bomb! Just OK for me.Match Rating: **
Megumi Kudo & Hikari Fukuoka VS Takako Inoue & Cuty Suzuki
Interesting back and forth tag match with a lot of great tag action. I’m not sure how popular Inoue and Suzuki were at the time, but it was good that they put over Kudo as the senior of the match even though she was representing a little indy fed called FMW. Kudo took the brunt of the punishment for her team, but gave as much as she got showing how good she is in the ring. She really did retire too early in her career.Match Rating: ***
A slow start, but once the V*TOP Tournament got underway, there was a lot of goodness on this edition of the show! Two MUST SEE matches, and it can only get better as I go into the final volume of the show which I hope to watch tomorrow and get the review up as soon as I can.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Dragon Gate "Open the Brave Gate" Tournament 3/13/2005
This was of course the big one night, eight man single elimination tournament to crown the first ever Brave Gate champion, whis is a secondary title to the Dream Gate title.OBG Tournament: YOSSINO VS K-ness
This was a lot more technical and grounded than I would have liked it to be. They did do some quick spots since YOSSINO is called the “Speed Star”, but most of the match was mat based with YOSSINO working K-ness’ bad shoulder, and it went longer than I would have liked. I also think this is the first time I’ve seen a match end in one of those quick sequences where the two guys counter each other’s pin attempts into pins of their own. I sorta made the ending look a bit like a lucky fluke win for YOSSINO when he should be on the level enough with K-ness to beat him like he did in the past.Match Rating: *1/2
OBG Tournament: PSYCHO VS Naoki Tanisaki
Tanisaki showed a lot of animosity to the outsider earlier in the show when he tried to attack him during the wrestler introductions at the beginning of the show. This was a really fast paced match and PSYCHO was really impressive the way he zipped around and delivered some great acrobatic offense and kicks. Tanisaki was able to rebound back and the two put on an enjoyable, but short, contest. The only error you could probably find was at the end when PSYCHO botched his finisher and they redid the spot after.Match Rating: *1/2
OBG Tournament: Super Shisa VS Naruki Doi
I actually found this match to be rather boring. Something about seeing Doi as the arrogant heel just didn’t sit right with me. I know it’s not the first time it’s been done, especially in Dragon Gate, but I also wasn’t a big fan of the Blood Generation interference which led to the No Contest and consequent restart. After seeing and knowing they were going to cheat, why didn’t President Nakamura just bar them from ringside?!?Match Rating: *1/2
OBG Tournament: Daniel Mishima VS Genki Horiguchi
These two easily had the best match of the opening round! And I’m not just saying that cause I’m a big fan of Genki. These two worked a solid match that was well paced and well structured, and it really helped that they built up a mini-feud leading into the match. They worked the match in a way that kept you interested and not something you had to watch to get to the next match like some of the other matches so far were. Genki only had to work one match tonight, but luckily for all of us he gave us his best and did a great job putting Daniel over as a serious competitor. There were some things I didn’t like, like I believe no one should kick out of a move as sick as the Beach Break, but I loved Daniel’s cradle-backdrop as well as the killer dangerous backdrop he gave Genki. Match Rating: ***
Masaaki Mochizuki, Susumu Yokosuka & Kenichiro Arai VS Ryo Saito, Dragon Kid & Syachihoko Machine
The fans LOVE Syachihoko Machine here! Despite his comedic antics throughout the match, the golden dressed deity really was entertaining and the crowd SO wanted to see him pull out a win! Heck, he had me on the edge of my seat rooting for him, so that tells you how good the match was at pulling you into it. ODG champion Mochizuki was fun to watch as well, as the Machine actually started off by taunting the champ. Another note on the match was the great chemistry Dragon Kid and Susumu showed when they worked against each other, either one of the two could make credible contenders for Mochi’s title. Saito is also showing the leadership qualities of a future champion, and I do hope he gets the belt one day as he’s truly deserving of it. This was the best non-tournament match of the night as it had great ring work and crowd heat. I haven’t seen any Syachihoko matches, but I definitely agree with the announcer that this would be his “best bout”.Match Rating: ***1/2
OBG Tournament Semi Finals: PSYCHO VS YOSSINO
PSYCHO is making the best of his time in Dragon Gate as he sure seems to be up-showing the DG competitors as far as his abilities go, he’s even more impressive than in all the K-DOJO matches I’ve seen him in. He just seems to be moving at full speed compared to everyone else so far in the tournament, which is really what I usually expect most DG matches to be like. Both guys have similar a submission move, and it was fun watching them roll around the ring trying to lock it on each other. A fun match that was given good time to play out, and I would seriously like to see PSYCHO make more appearances outside K-DOJO since I see a lot of potential in the kid.Match Rating: **1/2
OBG Tournament Semi Finals: Naruki Doi VS Daniel Mishima
They seemed to be building up to something until the infamous chair incident. They were doing some good ground work up until that point, with Doi desperately trying to avoid taking Daniel’s dangerous backdrops. When the chair incident struck, I really wasn’t sure if it was the chair, or the really bad fall Daniel took after the shot that knocked him out for a while. Bare in mind there were no protective mats around the ring area and Daniel’s whole body weight landed on his head. I honestly believe there was a chance the whole thing was worked since Daniel did indeed looked like he could still continue the match and was rather upset when President Nakamura ended the match and awarded it to Doi. The fans of course hated the decision and gave it a rightful round of boos.Match Rating: *
Stalker Ishikawa VS Akitoshi Saito
I’ll honestly admit I don’t really find Stalker’s matches to be all that funny, but it is always interesting to see what kind of offense his opponents would allow him to get in and if Stalker could shock the crowd by kicking out when everyone thinks he’s down for the count. Now on an entertainment level, this was a really fun match with Saito of course dominating for the most part. Saito even delivered one of the longest delayed vertical suplexes I’d ever seen. Stalker did manage to get some comedic offense in, like his trademark two-fingered butt-poke, and he got good reactions from the crowd for avoiding some of Saito’s offense and kicking out of the big suplex, but we all know how it goes in the end.Match Rating: *
Entertainment Rating: CIMA, Don Fujii & Shingo Takagi VS Magnum TOKYO, Anthony W. Mori & BXB Hulk
Most of the match was Hulk getting a pounding from the Blood Generation crew. I don’t understand why Shingo is put on a level so high up above Hulk when he himself is new to the Dragon Gate roster. I didn’t seem right to see Shingo as a no selling senior to Hulk’s strikes. I liked the opening sprint between Magnum & CIMA where they traded moves at breakneck speed. The rest of the match was standard six-man fare, leading to the big sprint ending with everyone involved. It was good, but I’ve seen it been done better in the past, take the other six-man on the card for example. As for Hulk, the kid will definitely be a big name player in a few years. He’s already been given a look as well as a good move set to build on. I also find myself really liking Shingo Takagi since he’s got some good moves on him as well. His Last Falconi finisher is pretty cool too, and if you haven’t seen it before, it’s a wrist-clutch Olympic Slam. I also have an interest to see what Tozawa can do after seeing him escape the Blood Generation beat down and give Don Fujii a dropkick.Match Rating: **
OBG Tournament Finals: Naruki Doi VS YOSSINO
Given the time and worked like a main event should be, but Doi is seriously lacking the offense to work a long match where he’s not the underdog. I do think it could have been done a little better to get the belt on Doi, but I did like the ending where the two were fighting at the top rope to try and hit their finisher. One thing I didn’t like though is how Blood Generation were still allowed at ringside after their interference earlier. If President Nakamura can come out and restart a No Contest due to their interference, why no bar them from ring side so Doi would have to win the match on his own?Match Rating: **1/2
Just a good show overall, but overly outstanding. They REALLY should have started to push Michael and Daniel as serious competitors from here as it would have fit right in with the “new” Dragon Gate era. Not the best I’ve ever seen from Dragon Gate, but I’ve seen worse.
Labels: Dragon Gate
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Chigusa Nagayo Produce Special - 5/25/2005
Dick Togo, Nobutaka Moribe & Hayate VS Ayako Hamada, AKINO & Chikayo Nagashima
Fun fast paced opener with the all male rudo team took on the joshi face team. Joined in progress with Nagashima taking the brunt of the punishment from the rudos, but once the hot tag was made the fun factor went up several notches as Hamada was the only member on her team that could match size and power with the guys, heck, physically, she was bigger than the three of them! Ayako is former ARSION tag champions with AKINO, and the duo showed they could still work together well despite not tagging together for a while. I really would have liked to have seen more of AKINO in the match too.
You gotta give Togo and the guys credit for bumping and selling for the ladies, like taking a big powerbomb from Ayako as well as a wicked DDT from AKINO, but the girls took it as well as they gave it, especially Ayako who took a great looking double-team complete shot, as well as Togo’s Pedigree and senton bomb!
Great and fun opener overall.Match Rating: **1/2
Cosplay Death Match: Shoichi Ichimaya VS Sakura Hirota
Basically this was a cosplay contest between puroresu’s two biggest cosplayers. Basic rules were that it’s a 2/3 round contest with the winner of each round to be decided by judges decision based on their cosplay performance.
The first round was the Hustle challenge featuring Shinya Agimoto VS General Sakura Takada!
The second round was Gil Nakano VS Sakura Nakano! Gil was accompanied by Futoshi Miwa as Dump Matsumoto! Check out the nun-chuck action in this one!
And the final round was Agira Hokuto VS Sakura Kandori! Reliving a classic joshi rivalry!
Not really any wrestling involved save for the light skirmish at the end of the third round, but a fun contest to check out.Match Rating: NoneEntertainment Rating: Dansyoku Dieno VS Aja Kong
You just knew this would be one heck of a comedy match as the two of them were already arguing earlier on during the wrestler introductions at the beginning of the show. I thought I’d seen it all from Aja when she joined Hustle, but I never thought I’d see her do the things she did here with Dieno! She took Dieno’s Dansyoku Driver and even used YinLing’s Masochist Lock! Easily one of the funniest comedy matches I’ve seen in awhile.Match Rating: *Entertainment Rating: Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Mariko Yoshida VS Yuki Ishikawa & Carlos Amano
Honestly, this was the last match I expected to find some comedy gold in, and for BATTLARTS ace Yuki Ishikawa was the last person I expected to see it from since the last time I saw him it was in one hell of a bloody brawl with Ryuji Hijikata in AJPW last year.
The match started off normally with Ishikawa & Fujiwara exchanging heavy hits and submission locks, but once the women tagged in and mixed it up with the men, there were some funny and hilarious moments to be had! Especially from Ishikawa who was as close as you could come to being a downright pervert when he mixed it up with Yoshida! Even old man Fujiwara couldn’t resist planting one on Amano when he had the chance!
Of course it wasn’t all fun and games, as when the women mixed it up, we were given an FANTASTIC display of ground grappling as they showcased a clinic of mat holds, counters and reversals. Heck, when he was serious for a minute, Ishikawa even traded holds with Yoshida on the mat.
This mach would probably pass as entertaining and even though it was funny, I didn’t like the ending, but I guess it was the best way not really drop the fall at the end of it.Match Rating: *1/2Entertainment Rating: Meiko Satomura Return Match: Jinsei Shinzaki & Meiko Satomura VS MEN'S Teioh & Ran Yu-Yu
Satomura is making her return match from a back injury, so naturally the opposing team decided to work over her back throughout the match. Eventhough that strategy would make sense, I wouldn’t really call it a smart booking decision since it might also re-aggravate her back injury which is not good.
The story of the match was basically Satomura getting her back worked over for the most part. I’m not sure if it’s really her gimmick, but she came out dressed in full priest gear like Shinzaki, but her style if more of an explosive submission striker. She took a lot of punishment, but looked good for what offense she got in.
Shinzaki was his usual calm collected self, and was great to watch off the hot tag when he took it to both opponents. I haven’t seen Teioh in a LONG time, but the former Big Japan champion looked good here, showing some ring smarts as well as some good submission work on Satomura’s back. There wasn’t really a lot that notable from Ran Yu-Yu, but she looked good from what I saw.
A good match overall with a great story to it and worked at a good pace. Nothing really outstanding, but nothing much wrong with it either.Match Rating: *1/2Barb-Wire Rope, 100,000 Light Tube Death Match: Chigusa Nagayo, Ryuji Ito & Sanshiro Takagi VS Mayumi Ozaki, Shadow WX & Abdullah Kobayashi
Quick rundown on the participants: Shadow WX is one of the original death match innovators from Big Japan Pro Wrestling. He sorta looks like a cross between Satoshi Kojima and Kintaro Kanemura these days. Abdullah Kobayashi is another death match veteran who borrows his gimmick from Abdullah the Butcher, his physique is even almost similar, but he does have a tad bit more wrestling ability. Mayumi Ozaki is a joshi legend, and no stranger to hardcore action, and not just because she once did a lesbian porn movie with Cuty Suzuki before! Of course this whole team all have death match experience under their belts, and their intro was fun as well as the two guys carried Ozaki to the ring like a queen on their shoulders.
On the face side, Ryuji Ito is the current Big Japan champion. A young ace who’s credited with being one of the best death match innovators in modern times, with actual wrestling skills to go with his death match abilities. Sanshiro Takagi is the ace of DDT, and for some wild and bizarre reason, the guy comes out wearing a full Gundam costume, complete with helmet to protect him from the impending carnage! I’ll honestly admit I don’t know much about Nagayo, but she’s a legend in the business forming a long time team with Lioness Asuka.
The match itself is a wild brawl as expected, but it was hard to take it serious for awhile when you have Takagi doing comedy spots in a Gundam suit! Thankfully he does lose the Gundam suit later n the match and gets serious as he reverts to his Stone Cold gear. The whole ring was lined with fluorescent light bulb tubes, in addition to the ones brought by the competitors. So as you can expect, it wasn’t long before there was broken glass everywhere, making a simple move like a dropkick as painful for the guy who delivers it as the guy who receives it! As expected, Nagayo was the main focal point of the match as she took a lot of punishment while her teammates were taken out rather easily and disappeared for most of the match. Everyone bled whether they wanted too or not since there was broken glass all over the ring, and it was rather interesting the things they came up with to break the light tubes over each other. I was a bit disappointed that Ozaki really didn’t do much in the ring, though she did take several light tube shots to the head. A great match to end the show, and if I’m not mistaken, Nagayo’s retirement was announced after the show.Match Rating: **1/2
This was truly a fun show overall with a great mix of wrestling action, comedy and death matches! The comedy might out weight the actual wrestling on the show, but I’m not really complaining as it was refreshing to see something different for a change. Hopefully even though she’s retired, Nagayo will continue to book fun little shows like this from time to time.
Labels: BJW, DDT, Joshi